Last Updated on July 13, 2023 by Shari Mason
Carnitas is a delicious and savory Mexican dish made from slow-cooked pork, often enjoyed in tacos, burritos, or on its own. However, after a big batch of carnitas, you may find some leftovers you need help with.
Don’t let those flavorful pieces of meat go to waste! You can turn your leftover carnitas into a whole new meal or snack with some creativity.
From hearty breakfast burritos to savory quesadillas, we’ll show you what to do with leftover carnitas and make the most of your food.
5 Best Dishes To Do With Leftover Carnitas
1. Carnitas Tacos
Calories: Around 250
Carnitas tacos  are one of the most popular ways to use leftover carnitas. Warm up your tortillas with the carnitas, then add your favorite toppings like diced onions, cilantro, and salsa.
You can add some fresh lime juice for a zesty flavor. The beauty of carnitas tacos is that you can customize them to your liking, adding any additional toppings or seasonings you prefer.
Whether you enjoy them as a quick lunch, a leisurely dinner, or a late-night snack, carnitas tacos are a delicious and satisfying way to use your leftover carnitas.
2. Carnitas Burrito Bowls
Calories: Around 800
Carnitas burrito bowls are another great way to use up leftover carnitas. Start by layering a bed of rice or quinoa in a bowl, then add your leftover carnitas on top.
“Mexican food is far more varied than people think. It changes like dialects. I was brought up in Jalisco by the sea on a basic diet – tomatoes, chillis, peppers of every size, and rice, a Mexican staple. The Pacific coast has a huge array of seafood.”– Gael Garcia Bernal, Mexican Actor
Next, add your favorite toppings like black beans, avocado, diced tomatoes, and pico de gallo. You can add some shredded cheese or sour cream for extra creaminess.
The best part about a burrito bowl is that it’s fully customizable, so you can add whatever toppings and seasonings you prefer.
3. Carnitas Quesadillas
Calories: Around 500
Using your leftover carnitas as a filling for a quesadilla is a quick and easy way to create a satisfying meal.
Place some carnitas and shredded cheese between two tortillas and cook in a pan until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy.
Add sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, or sour cream to take it to the next level. Combining the tender and flavorful carnitas with the crispy and gooey cheese makes for a delicious and satisfying meal.
4. Carnitas Breakfast Skillet
Calories: Around 1000
Using leftover carnitas as a protein source in a breakfast skillet is a hearty and flavorful way to start your day.
Start by cooking scrambled eggs and potatoes in a skillet, then add your leftover carnitas and any other veggies you have on hand, such as bell peppers or onions.
You can also add some shredded cheese or avocado for some extra creaminess. Combining the savory carnitas with the fluffy eggs and crispy potatoes makes for a satisfying and filling breakfast.
5. Carnitas Nachos
Calories: Around 800
Carnitas nachos  are a crowd-pleasing and indulgent way to use up leftover carnitas. Start by layering tortilla chips on a baking sheet, then add your leftover carnitas.
Next, add some shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos, and diced tomatoes. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, then top with some fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
The combination of the crispy tortilla chips, savory carnitas, and gooey cheese makes for a delicious and satisfying snack or party appetizer.
What to do with leftover carnitas liquid?
You can use leftover carnitas liquid as a base for soups, stews, or sauces to add a depth of flavor. It can also be used to cook rice or beans for added flavor.
How long can you keep carnitas in the fridge?
Carnitas can typically be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days if stored properly in an airtight container.
Leftover carnitas can be transformed into delicious and satisfying meals, snacks, and appetizers. From classic tacos and burrito bowls to creative quesadillas and nachos, there are plenty of ways to use up your leftover carnitas and create new and exciting dishes.
Additionally, remember to save the leftover carnitas liquid, which can be used as a base for soups, stews, or sauces to add a depth of flavor.
With some creativity and essential ingredients, you can turn your leftover carnitas into a whole new culinary adventure.
So, the next time you have some leftover carnitas, try one of these ideas and enjoy the delicious flavors of Mexican cuisine in a new and exciting way.
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